Lenovo, smartphone dark horse? Its shipments surge 78%

Lenovo's earnings jumped by 36 percent last quarter thanks to rising sales of its mobile phones and tablets.

Earnings for the quarter ended September 30 came in at $220 million, while revenue rose by 13 percent to $98.8 billion. Smartphone shipments grew by 78 percent from the prior year, while tablet shipments hit a record high of 2.3 million.

PC sales for Lenovo also were healthy despite an overall sluggish market. Laptops accounted for 51 percent of Lenovo's total revenue. Desktop PC shipments inched up only 1 percent, but that beat the industry's decline of … Read more

Notebook market inches up, but still suffers long-term drop

The walking dead notebook market showed some signs of life last quarter.

Shipments of mobile PC worldwide reached 47.9 million in the third quarter, a rise of 6 percent from the second quarter, research firm IHS said on Wednesday. That percentage represented the largest sequential gain for the moribund notebook market since a 7 percent rise in the third quarter of 2011.

That's the good news. The bad? Notebook shipments continued to plummet on a year-by-year basis.

The third quarter results were down 9 percent from the same quarter last year, the fifth consecutive quarterly drop. The decline … Read more

Huawei makes a Valiant effort with this $80 off-contract Android phone

For $80 off-contract, MetroPCS' Huawei Valiant is an affordable Android 4.1 handset. However, set your expectations accordingly. This phone has strong call quality and consistent 3G speeds over T-Mobile's GSM network (since T-Mobile purchased Metro). However, 4G LTE connectivity is absent, and the camera's lack of autofocus could be a deal breaker for some, even though image quality is high for a 3-megapixel shooter. My device also showed signs of software instability that made apps like the camera, gallery, and Google Maps flicker.

If you can look past the stunted camera and moments of instability, the Valiant … Read more

Small, cheap tablets are hot, PCs not, says Gartner

The PC industry is likely to experience another rough year, according to analysts at Gartner.

Global shipments of desktops and notebooks are expected to nestle in at 303 million this year, an 11.2 percent drop from 2012. Stirring in ultramobile PCs (which include hybrid laptops/tablets), shipments are forecast to decline by 8.4 percent this year, Gartner said on Monday.

Tablets will continue to heat up the market, with shipments surging by 42.7 percent in 2013 to reach 184 million. And smaller and cheaper tablets are giving their larger and more expensive counterparts a run for their … Read more

Intel delays Broadwell PC chip production to early next year

Intel on Tuesday said its upcoming PC chip, dubbed Broadwell, will be delayed by a quarter.

CEO Brian Krzanich, speaking during a call discussing the company's third-quarter earnings, said Intel will begin production on Broadwell in the first quarter of 2014 rather than later this year. The chip is the first manufactured at 14 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, which puts Intel at least a year ahead of rivals.

The delay has been caused by a "defect density issue" that impacts the yields, or number of usable chips, Krzanich said. He noted that once defects are … Read more

Dell unveils new laptops, tablets running Android and Windows 8

Dell is putting the focus back on hardware.

For the bulk of 2013, any headlines you've read about Dell have more than likely reported on the company's rocky transition from public to private via a $25 billion buyout from Silver Lake Partners. But with today's announcement of a long list of new Windows 8.1 laptops, tablets, convertible devices -- and even a pair of low-cost Android tablets -- Dell is scrambling to climb back into the shopper's mind.

With its updated lineup, the once-dominant Texas PC giant seems to be taking on all comers. With … Read more

Microsoft's New Windows ad: the Surface is a, um, Surface

It's the debate that has divided families, offices, and nations.

More friendships have been destroyed over this issue than any other save for "boxers or briefs?"

Every time it seems there's an answer, the questions again rise from the dead, like a bad guy with a gun at the end of a thriller.

Is the Surface a PC or a tablet?

In a new Windows 8.1 ad, Microsoft answers that question. By avoiding it (or not).

The voiceover tells us: "You can do it all, simpler and easier, on your Windows tablet, PC or … Read more

LG Optimus F6 offers 4G LTE on a budget

The LG Optimus F6 may not be a powerhouse of a device compared with some other top-tier handsets, but it's still a reliable phone that will satisfy users looking for a simple device on a budget.

Reasonably priced at $288 on T-Mobile, or $199 on MetroPCS, the F6 is equipped with a swift dual-core processor, a bright 4.5-inch screen, and a 5-megapixel camera that's sure to make casual shutterbugs happy. It also comes with a handful of software UI features from LG that are useful and easy to use.

If you're looking for a midrange Android … Read more

Dive into the waterproof, shock-resistant Kyocera Hydro XTRM

Rest assured, it's no fun dropping your smartphone in water. Whether you have an active lifestyle and go swimming often, or you're just milling around the kitchen, once your device hits water, it's often the beginning of the end.

Fortunately, the Kyocera Hydro XTRM (pronounced "extreme") isn't only dustproof and shock-resistant, it's waterproof as well -- meaning it doesn't have to spend a night in a bowl full of uncooked rice in case it accidentally takes a dive in the ocean.

But even with its splashproof features and low price, the Hydro … Read more

T-Mobile's John Legere: The most dangerous man in wireless

John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, had the room with his first F-bomb.

The event was last January's Consumer Electronics Show, and scores of reporters, bloggers, and photographers had come to hear what Legere had to say in one of his first public appearances since his appointment as CEO in September. Expectations weren't high. The audience, gathered in the typical Las Vegas convention center room showered in pink lights, had expected to hear the same "challenger" strategy that his predecessor had put forth the year before.

Instead, Legere (pronounced like "ledger") delivered a profanity-laden talk … Read more